For the last three years, on the last Saturday of November, residents have enjoyed the coastal winter season, the Frost Fair, reviving a grand European tradition stretching back to the middle Ages.
We hadn't realized they were making it that there was a "Frost Fair" on the last Saturday in November every year, since we'd missed having anything to do with the tree lighting in the past couple of years, or we might have arranged to go. But the parade passed along the seafront in front of our building, so Kelly grabbed the camera to get me a few photos of it.
I don't think we got it all, because, apparently...
With over 200 participants, drum troupes, circus artists and characters including Jack Frost, the Snow Queen in her winter coach and a host of figures from literature, mythology and folklore, the parade is larger than ever, building on the huge interest and acclaim from previous years to deliver what we like to think of as the best dressed and most magical winter pageant in the whole of the county.
But, anyway, here's what we did get of it:
Sorry if the quality isn't too great... The photos were being taken through a rain splattered window on a frosty day, which makes it difficult to get good shots even with the best of cameras, and our camera isn't an amazing one to start with.
Later in the evening was the local holiday light switch on, but I hadn't been paying enough attention to know what time it would be, so we missed going to it. Mind you, with this bit of a chest infection I have, standing out in the rain just so I could be there when the holiday lights got turned on would have probably been a stupid thing to do anyhow, so it's probably for the best that we didn't go; I've so far managed to stop this chest infection from becoming a bad one, and it would be nice to keep it that way, after all.
But, anyway... It seems this event now kicks off all the holiday celebrations around here, including the opening of the ice rink (which is only open through Christmas and the new year)... Just like it used to until some time in the 1980s, I believe; I'm not sure why it was stopped then, but I'm glad they decided to start it up again.
Yes, iceskating is only an option around here from the end of November until the start of January (November 28th to January 5th in the case of this year). But then, iceskating isn't as big of a thing over here as it is in some other countries. Most people have never even tried it. Yes, seriously. And those who have tried it, have only done it a few times in their entire lives.
I'm one of those who hasn't done it. I've been rollerskating before... On both quad skates, and rollerblades (inline skates). But never iceskating. I don't know if my ankle could take it if I was to try now though... Probably not.